‘IKKA-DO’ or ‘HENKADO INJINN’ [pseud.] ~ Shunjō Awase Kagami. Ōsaka: [publisher not identifed], ca. late Edo to early Meiji period [ 1840-70s].
3 vols (115 × 80 mm), 17, 12, 13 leaves, woodblock illustrations and text, including colour printed titles and 19 double-page erotic illustrations printed in colour with some gold. Original decorative wrappers. Somewhat rubbed and wanting original printed labels. Preserved in a recent chemise. A wonderful survival.
An exceptionally rare near-miniature Japanese erotic book, clandestine and issued under a pseudonym, of which this is probably only the second recorded copy (the other apparently in the Wellcome Colection, but unlocated by us in their online cataogue). The thirteen erotic tales are describe the sexual encounters as though depicted in ‘infinity mirrors’, represented graphically in many of the illustrations here. Japanese books of this diminutive size and type rarely survive complete and intact. ‘The only copy known is in the library of the Wellcome Institute for the History of Medicine in London’, Peter Kornicki, The Book in Japan: A Cultural History (1998), p. 233n. We have been unable to locate any copy, including the Wellcome copy noted by Kornicki.